Some Facts about the Mazda 3
- The first generation Mazda 3 was designed by a team that was lead by Moray Callum, and automobile designer who has worked on a variety of vehicles for Chrysler, Ford, and Mazda. Before Callum came in, most cars from Mazda looked quite bland and lacked the style that could attract younger buyers. With his help, Mazda was able to revitalize their vehicles giving them crisp interiors, edgy shapes, and a better overall look and feel.
- Ever notice that if you look at the Mazda 3 from the front that there's a vague resemblance to a smiley face with how the grill and lights are laid out? That's a design philosophy of Mazda called the five-point face that's made up of the grille and the boomerang shaped headlights.
- Some of the newer Mazda 3 models actually have a built-in onboard computer that can display actual fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, average speed, and the approximate range from the current fuel. Not a lot of people are even aware of the feature since it's not enabled by default. To activate this feature, owners need to press a series of buttons that'll unlock the said display. A quick search on the internet for this little trick mentions that'll it'll work for the 2006 Mazda 3 and later models.
- Want to try driving a Mazda 3 for free? It's actually one of the few sedans that can be driven in video games such as Need For Speed. Of course, it won't really be the same as to driving the real thing but you'll be able to mix and match color schemes on the Mazda 3 in here as well. It can be a great way of seeing how you could customize the Mazda 3's looks before actually heading to an auto detailing shop.
- The Mazda 3, along with the Mazda 6, was responsible for reinvigorating slumping sales for Mazda. The Mazda 3 was part of the company's steps of manufacturing high-quality vehicles with desirable styling and superior driving dynamics. This led the way to the company developing other higher-end sports cars such as the Mazda RX-8.
- It hasn't won any major race in motorsports yet, but the Mazda 3 has been featured in a couple racing series already. It was introduced in the Speed World Challenge in 2009, entered the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner class in 2010, and was raced in the South African Production Car Championship from 2007 to 2010.
Common Problems with the Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 is often credited for reviving the image of the Mazda Motor Corporation thanks to its stylish looks, great features, and friendly price range. This compact came out in 2003 and has already been restyled into different body styles, including a hatchback, wagon, and a 4-door sedan. Developments in their SkyActiv technology, a new and improved direct injection engine, and their new transmission system have further boosted the Mazda 3 to the top. Unfortunately, a couple of problems have hounded the Mazda 3 over the years as experienced by the owners themselves.
2004 and 2009 recalls
The biggest issue with the Mazda 3 would probably be the recalls that were issued for its earlier models. Back in 2004, Mazda issues a recall on the Mazda 3 because it was suffering from a defective sensor that was connected to the front airbag system. This was further aggravated in some vehicles where there was a crack in the sensor housing that allowed water to enter the system. This short-circuited the system prompting a warning light on the dash.
More recently, Mazda issued a factory recall for the 2009 Mazda 3 because of a malfunctioning stability control system. It's best to check your Mazda 3 if it was subject to any recalls in the past to get those faulty components replaced with compatible Mazda 3 Parts.
Problems with the car's brakes
Another common complaint among Mazda 3 owners is that the brakes suffer from excessive brake dust, frequent squealing, and wheel clunk while turning. Mazda has issued a technical service bulletin on the problem and has found out that these vehicles have a defective rotor that kept on grinding along the edges. It's best to have the brakes checked and replaced with compatible Mazda 3 accessories immediately.
Power windows that don't work
It can be annoying if the car's window won't come down or roll up when you need them too, and this was a problem that some Mazda 3 owners faced when their driver's side power windows began to fail. Dealers have found out that most of the time, it was either a broken power window motor or a melted rubber housing that was causing the problem.
The Things that Make the Mazda 3 Great
The Mazda 3 debuted in the 2003 model year and has been making a big buzz ever since. However, the rich history of the car isn't limited in the past decade. The 3 is the official successor to the long-lasting Mazda 323 that started way back in the 60s. Even then, the car has always been positioned as the economical vehicle with a hint of sporty handling and performance.
Mazda's strong partnership with Ford and Volvo allows the companies to share research and development information. One fruit of this tie-up can be seen in the Mazda 3's use of Ford's C1 platform: the same platform used on other cars such as Ford's Focus and Kuga, and Volvo's S40 and C30. The frame, brakes, and suspension are some of the parts common across these models.
One very interesting innovation developed for the Mazda 3 revolved around conserving energy. When the brakes are fully applied, the car reaches a complete stop, and power isn't necessary, the engine temporarily shuts itself for a while. It's like the engine is on stand-by mode. Once the pedal is released, the Mazda 3 is ready to go once more.
The Mazda 3 is considered as the more practical option compared to the Mazda 6. When the 6 was first unveiled in 2002, many liked its bold looks, style, and performance. People on the other hand wanted a car that was smaller and lighter on the wallet but also one that didn't sacrifice the elements that made the 6 great. The product is the sought-after Mazda 3.
To describe the Mazda 3 as a success is an understatement. It's almost the perfect car that achieves the right balance of looks, performance, and price. The mix is so great that the car played a vital role in keeping Mazda's business and reputation afloat during the tough economic period it faced at the time of its release. People loved the Mazda 3 so much that it was considered as one of the highest selling import car at that time.
Many awards have been given to the Mazda 3 in support of its great run. The car has been titled as the
Car of The Year in some European countries. Magazines and buying guides such as Motor Week, Car and Driver, and the American Automobile Association recognized its value. The car doesn't even fall short when it comes to safety as the 3 is also a top pick for the Insurance Institute Highway Safety.
Frequent Bugs of the Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 continues to be one of the strong compact cars to hit the auto industry. No matter what type it comes in, either as a sedan or a hatch, there's plenty to love with this vehicle. It's still going very strong even after two generations and a decade in production. Despite the praises the Mazda 3 gets, the car isn't free from bugs. After years of use, many owners and reviewers have reported various troubles occurring. These range from little annoyances to major mechanical issues. The following are some of those problems:
Wheel hop clunk
Wheel hop clunk is one problem of the Mazda. This describes the times when it's in low gear and there are lots of clattering and clunking sounds heard near the tires. The sounds are accompanied by the front wheels of the hopping and jumping. This usually happens every time the car brakes, slows down, turns, or accelerates after taking a corner. Driving under the rain increases the chances of this happening. The problem is usually caused by a weak suspension system that affects the stability and balance of the wheels. Other than this, the stock tires are also believed to be contributing to the wheel hop.
Excessive brake dust
The rear brakes of the Mazda 3 tend to accumulate large amounts of brake dust. On a regular car, this isn't an uncommon sight after miles and miles of use. The one on the Mazda however gets this kind of buildup even after owning and driving the car for a relatively short time. This is more common on earlier models of the car. As far as performance is concerned, the stopping ability isn't affected much in its early stages. The brakes begin to act funny as more dust accumulates and the system begins to completely wear.
Premature clutch failure
It seems that regardless of the year model and distance traveled, the clutch of the Mazda can suddenly fail without warning. This is a very major and dangerous type of problem. Loss of engine power to the drive wheels may be felt, loud vibrations when trying to engage the gear, and a shaky pedal. Cracks and heavy scarring should be seen upon visual inspection of the clutch.
I have been hearing rattling noise from the rear of my Mazda 3, particularly whenever I drive over speed bumps or uneven road surfaces. What could be causing this noise?
There are actually two possible reasons for the rattling noise that you are hearing. First, it could be that the exhaust pipe has loosened; and second, the brake light mounting could be broken. You will have to check which of these causes the rattling noise and have it fixed or changed, whichever solution is appropriate.
One of the things that I love about my Mazda 3 is the airbag, but recently I noticed that the warning light is always on even if I already put the seatbelts on. I am a bit worried that the airbag might malfunction and open on me while I'm driving. Please help.
The usual cause of a malfunctioning warning light is a faulty wiring to the seatbelt pre-tensioner sensor. If your car is still on warranty, then you can have your Mazda dealer do the repair for you. Unfortunately, if your warranty is already expired, then you will have to spend for the repair.
My Mazda 3 makes this squeaking noise whenever I drive in reverse. I can't seem to tell what is causing it, but I hope it's not something that would cost me a lot of money to repair.
The reason for the squeaking sound during reverse is the rear brake pad making contact with the brake rotor. Removing the rough area on the backing plate can help keep the pad from getting in contact with the rotor. Also, to prevent this annoying noise, deburr the backing plate as well as the pad support hardware.
The tire pressure light of my Mazda 3 came on two days ago. When I checked the pressure, it was rather low. So, I filled it, and then the light went off. But yesterday, it went on again, so I brought the car to a mechanic—and guess what he said? According to him, the sensors are bad, so I must replace them. Yes, not just in one or two tires but all four tires! Do you think I should do what he said?
Before you do that, you must check all the possible options first, or better yet, ask for a second opinion. The sensors may not be the culprit; it could be probably due to a slow leak around the valve stem or from a nail. It will not hurt if you ask another repair guy because you might end up having four new sensors, and later on you find out that they are not really the root of the problem.
What are the common symptoms of a failing alternator?
There are two most common symptoms that you need to watch out for to determine a weak alternator. One is the dimming of the headlights and dashboard lights. And two, there is a problem starting the vehicle or a need to repeatedly jump start the vehicle.
Mazda 3: Young, Current, and Cool
Zoom-zoom—for more than a decade now, Mazda has been using this tagline to promote its line of vehicles. It has been effective for Mazda since the tagline sounds young, current, and cool. However,
zoom-zoom isn’t merely a marketing slogan for the Japanese automotive brand—it also describes the concept behind Mazda’s vehicles. That’s why the Mazda 3, one of the brand’s premier model lines, is young, current, and cool all at the same time.
2004: The Birth of the Mazda 6’s
The Mazda 3, which is often referred to as the little brother of the mid-size Mazda 6, first hit car showrooms in 2004. The compact Mazda 3 is based on the Ford C1 platform, the same one used in the Ford Focus and several Volvo vehicles. It replaced the old Mazda Familia in the brand’s U.S. product lineup and came in the form of either a
coupe style four-door sedan or a five-door hatchback. In the U.S., the Mazda 3 was offered in two trim levels: “i” and “s”. Both trim levels featured the same inline-4 Mazda MZR engine.
2005-2007: The Bestseller
The Mazda 3 sold relatively well during its debut year as automotive consumers were impressed with its styling, performance, and handling. That’s not surprising since the Mazda 3 is practically a sports car that doesn’t have a
sports car price tag. However, it’s the succeeding years that definitely launched the Mazda 3 to superstardom. Despite the fact that the 2005-2007 model years hardly had changes, these models sold well—very well. In fact, the Mazda 3 was the second best-selling car in Canada in 2006 and was the top-seller in Israel from 2005-2007. Its sales in the U.S. rose significantly as well.
2009: The Second Generation
The second generation Mazda 3 finally arrived in 2009. The new Mazda 3 embodied the
zoom-zoom concept even more as the car was restyled to look even younger, more current, and cooler than it was before. Performance-wise, it naturally got a boost as well. Under the hood of the second-generation Mazda 3 sat an upgraded version of the MZR engine. It still came in sedan or hatchback forms and was offered in the same two trim levels.
The 2012 Mazda 3 became one of the first beneficiaries of SkyActiv, which is capable of increasing performance and fuel efficiency in a manner that’s eco-friendly. It’s Mazda’s series of technologies that includes the SkyActiv-G 2.0-L direct-injection engine and the SkyActiv-Drive five-speed automatic/six-speed manual transmission. Car and Driver magazine reported that the Mazda 3 can reach an estimated EPA fuel-economy rating of 39 mpg city and 39 to 40 highway. That puts the Mazda 3 in the same league as the Ford Fiesta, the Volkswagen Golf, the Volkswagen Jetta, and the Chevrolet Cruze, all of which are regarded as highly fuel-efficient vehicles.